Friday, December 28, 2007

That Was The Year That Was

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?
Roasted a turkey for Thanksgiving.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I think I did. I could do better though.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
The Drunk Mick and his wife welcomed my niece, M.I.A. into the world.

4. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
Disposable income. Bigger dents in my loans.

5. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
December 28, 2007. I watched "House of 1,000 Corpses". What a piece of crap.

6. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Making improvements at home and at work.

7. What was your biggest failure?
My yard.

8. What was the best thing you bought?
Gifts for PGirl. New television. New windows (more of a gift actually).

9. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Again, PGirls. The kids have settled down a bit.

10. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The current administration at the White House. I've never witnessed a more arrogant group of people in power, in our country.

11. Where did most of your money go?
Home and Car Loans.

12. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The Holidays.

13. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
Happier. Fatter. Richer.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Small World

I'll be taking part in a mentoring program for school-age kids soon. I enjoy this type of volunteerism and happily bounded two blocks from my office for an orientation this week. The trainer ordered pizza for the mentors and I was delighted to see she had ordered from Dave's on Main Street. Their pizza is as close to New York City/Long Island that I've seen in Jamestown. A lot of folks turn their nose up to the stuff, but I prefer the thin to the thick. I think my late step-grandfather's biases against Sicilians might have had some merit...
Anyway, as I was transported back to Islip, New York in the seventies, I overheard the trainer talking about having lived in Cincinnati. My ears perked up. I had lived across the river in the Bluegrass State from 1979 to 1990 - my formative years. I asked her which part of Cincinnati she was from. "Claremont", she replied, "but I grew up in Northern Kentucky". A fellow country-woman.

When someone asks you where you're from and Kentucky is the place, one usually doesn't reply, "Kentucky". The state is split up into several very diverse regions. The Lake Cumberland area is someone resortish and has dry counties within. The Lexington and Louisville areas are known for their Universities and being different arms of the thoroughbred racing world. The Southwestern part of the state is home to Paducah, which is kind of a funky little place. And Eastern Kentucky, well, this is the birthplace of Loretta Lynn and some very bad jokes. "What's the definition of a virgin in Kentucky? A girl who can outrun her brother...

Northern Kentucky is distinct for several reasons:

  1. Like the Kansas Cities and St. Louises which bridge two states, Northern Kentucky is sometimes considered an extension of Cincinnati. And, contrary to some Hollywood movies filmed here, there is no part of the area referred to as South Cincinnati. You're either in downtown or drowning in the river.
  2. It is home to Cincinnati's airport ( Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport). Many travellers are confused by this.
  3. Covington has a high concentration of German-Catholics and also features a restaurant called "The Anchor" which has never been closed and makes Goetta.
  4. There are 8 Catholic High Schools in this region. 4 coed, 2 boys schools and 2 girls schools. The trainer went to Newport Central Catholic School and I went to a rival school, St. Henry.
  5. Good pizza was hard to find for several years around here. A chain called "LaRosa's" was and is still popular. Imagine a giant version of Lunchables pizza heated up and that is what you get.
  6. Cincinnati-style chili is also rampant in Northern Kentucky. Skyline is the most well-known and you may find it canned at your local grocery.
  7. Rural areas (a.k.a. B.F.E. and the Boonies) are mere minutes away from the urban areas, making for a nice pastiche of cultures.
  8. The annual Riverfest fireworks display is kicked off by a yelling contest between Ohio and Kentucky.
So, now you are armed with enough information to keep up in a brief conversation regarding the place where I learned to drive and shave, Northern Kentucky.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Last Curtain Call

The show is over! Despite bad weather, we pulled off some really fun performances. I dare say that this year's "Nutcracker" was better all around.

Being the last day, PGirl rounded up the older Ginger Snaps for a photo op offstage. Yeah, we're some hardcore girls.

PGirl Jr. made her debut in the ballet as a mouse. While her costume was hot and cumbersome, I liked it. If only to pad out the skinny little girl who used to be such a rounded cutie. She managed to take on two toy soldiers at a time.

I hope she continues to do this. She could become pretty good if this goes on. Mouse this year, maybe an angel next year. Who knows, maybe she fill out my blouse some day!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Mutha Snap

Sympathize with PGirl, because this is what she wakes up to every morning - without the makeup.

We've played two performances to schools so far and we have two general public performances to go. Fun is had by all backstage. All of my snaps throw their own signs at me in the hallway beneath the stage.

They all dance in front of me, but occasionally one will look upstage at me. I'll throw a sign back at one when it happens again. We'll see who cracks first.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Ginga Siznaps

"The Nutcracker" opens this Thursday and, like the holidays, it seems to have crept up on me. Granted, my part this year is about 3 minutes long compared to about 20 minutes last year and I have attended only a handful of brief rehearsals. Yesterday, I began to bond with the dancers who will be emerging from my character's hoop skirt. Little girls all, they spent some time with me offstage, waiting for our entrance. I told them that I felt the 2nd Act of the ballet is a metaphor for gang life, how each groug dances instead of fights. A couple of the more rambuctious girls agreed with me and showed me "fronting moves". Another flashed what appeared to be a gang sign at me. I told them that the Metatrons (the group that comes before us) thought they were all that and we should show them what's up. There was some modest agreement and we entered the stage to do our thing. So far, so good.